Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bad Wizard: The Cover Revealed!


Jeremy Cavin's amazing cover revealed in its full glory. You should be able to click on the above image to see a higher resolution version of it. Bad Wizard is on track to be available for sale on October 1. If you're interested in reading the book prior to publication in order to review it, please email me at james(at)jamesmaxey.net. Line edits are still being finalized, but I can provide an advanced review copy in an electronic format of your choice. Advance readers will get rewarded with a Bad Wizard poster!
The story:
In 1894, Oscar Zoroaster Diggs walks into Topeka with every pocket of his suit stuffed full of high quality emeralds. Overnight he's the richest man in Kansas. With his winning smile and gift for gab, he's quickly befriended by the governor and appointed as one the state's US Senators. While in Washington, he befriends Theodore Roosevelt, and when Roosevelt becomes president, Diggs become the Secretary of War. Now, in 1904, he's overseeing the construction of a fleet of zeppelins to be used to spread democracy to the far corners of the earth.
One woman knows Diggs true goals, however. Her name is Dorothy Gale, a reporter for the Kansas Ear. She's hounding Diggs with articles showing him to be a corrupt conman. She has a talent for getting her hands on sensitive documents to expose his shady dealings, but so far Diggs hasn't been harmed by her charges of corruption. In her quest to expose the truth about Diggs, Dorothy is hampered by her inability to tell the full truth. She alone knows the truth of how Diggs acquired his fortune -- she met him ten years ago in Oz, where he ruled as the Wizard. She also knows his true purpose for building the fleet of airships -- he plans to return to Oz to rule once more. But she can't go to her editor and explain that Diggs is planning to invade an invisible sky island ruled by witches. Nor can she explain that she gets her sensitive documents not from connections in Washington, but by using her magic silver slippers to travel cross country in the blink of an eye.
Dorothy's plans to thwart Diggs are complicated when he kidnaps her to take back to Oz as insurance that the Scarecrow will hand over the throne of the Emerald City. When she escapes his clutches in Oz, she must navigate a dangerous magical landscape in order to rescue her the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion. But even when they are finally united, will they be too late to stop Diggs from conquering the Emerald City with his aerial navy?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bad Wizard Cover Tease #3

Zooming out a bit further, full title banner can be seen, with Esau's wings serving as the "W" in Bad Wizard. The spires of a crystalline city are becoming apparent, and the fact that Esau is falling from a gray sky into a full color landscape reflects gives further hints to the setting.

This Sunday, I'll reveal the full cover online in all it's glory! If, by chance, you are near Hillsborough this Friday (August 29) and want to get your hands on a poster of the cover, come by Purple Crow Books during the Last Friday street festival between 6 and 8 pm. I'll be set up out front selling books and will have a limited number of posters on hand to give away. If you aren't in the Hillsborough area, don't despair! Everyone will have a shot at getting a free copy of the poster next month. Stay tuned for details!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bad Wizard Cover Tease #2

As we pull out from Esau's face, it should be obvious why he performs under the name "The Winged Monkey." To draw crowd's to his mother's temperance rallies, Esau goes a mile into the sky in a balloon then leaps. Instead of a parachute, he relies on a folding mechanical glider that he opens in mid-leap. Esau designed and built his wings himself, but is currently being sued by the estate of Otto Lilienthal, one of the first developers of a glider, for patent infringement. Esau's defense is that his device only resembles Lilienthal's to the extent that both are based on the wings of raptors. Still, his legal problems are one reason that Esau, a committed pacifist, winds up agreeing to work for Oscar Diggs, the Secretary of War, who promises to make the lawsuits against Esau go away if he'll help train an aerial navy in the use of the folding glider.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bad Wizard Cover Tease #1

The front cover of Bad Wizard has been decided on by Antimatter Press. The art by master illustrator Jeremy Cavin is filled with amazing detail, so I'm going to reveal it in stages, so there's time to marvel at all the tiny touches that make up the jaw-dropping whole. Pictured above is Esau Bejano, a.k.a. the Winged Monkey, the acrobatic engineering-genius temperance crusader who winds up as Dorothy Gales biggest ally in her struggle against Oscar Zoroaster Diggs, the former Wizard of Oz.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Is that a novel in your pocket or are you happy to see me?

I've delayed starting typing on my next novel until early September. I thought that I'd be done with Bad Wizard by this point, but I won't be getting the final line edits until this Friday. Once those are done, I need to work on getting the print edition set up, since Antimatter Press is only handling the ebook edition. In addition, I'm also working on a secret project that I'm not yet ready to announce, but that I will unveil before the end of this month.

The fact that I'm not typing doesn't mean I'm not writing. I've taken to carrying a thick stack of notecards in my front pocket. Anytime I get even small ideas about the next book, I'm jotting them down. When I am ready to start typing, all I need to do is organize my notes into the correct sequence and I'll have a functional outline I can follow. My big challenge at the moment is figuring out how to integrate the villain's back story. I'm currently planning a single POV, but the villain's motives are complicated, and it sure would be a lot easier if I could tell things from her POV. Hopefully, I'll be able to avoid the standard villain explains her motives and master plan monologue.